Episode #232. Today we’ll read 1 John chapter 2 together: We’ll talk about following God’s commands, not walking in the darkness, and the pitfalls that go along with our human nature.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #232. Today we’ll read 1 John chapter 2 together: We’ll talk about following God’s commands, not walking in the darkness, and the pitfalls that go along with our human nature.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
You’ll never guess what I did yesterday while driving to work. For some reason I was moved to listen to the first episode of this podcast. And to be honest…the second also.
They were just awful. I mean not the first chapter of Matthew (all those genealogies are fun, aren’t they?). And, although I have become more comfortable behind the mic, even the delivery was tolerable. But, oh my goodness…the quality was just dismal! And for that, God brought me right back around to gratitude. I bet you know why.
My heavenly Father immediately brought to mind my husband, Mitch. I am grateful to him and for him for every part of the production of this podcast. He even said, “You need better equipment. Get a new mic…get a new interface.” He has encouraged me, supported me, even written scripts when I was void of creativity. He is an editor par excellence because Mitch never thinks that good enough is good enough. He pushes, he strives, he goes the extra mile.
When I first started, I contracted out the editing for the first three or four episodes. I was sharing the process with Mitch – along with the frustrating parts of trying to communicate to someone in Sri Lanka – and he said, “I’ll be your editor!” He volunteered without even being asked! But what he said in the days following meant more to me than I can ever say. He told me how he believed in what I was doing. That it was an important ministry and that he wanted to help in any way he could. Team Miller!, he said. I’ve never loved him more and, quite frankly, this team effort has added a dimension to our relationship that I never expected but thank God for every day.
Mitch has a high-pressure job. It would be so easy for him to say, “I’m too busy.” But he doesn’t. He works so hard and I am blessed beyond words that he is my husband and partner in life, ministry, and faith.
I know you’ll see this, Mitch. Heck, you’re gonna edit it. I thank God for you every day and pray a blessing on your head for your faithfulness and friendship. You are truly the best.
And my prayer for my listeners is that you too have been blessed like I have. You can give God praise for your spouse – or any other person who encourages you – at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I will join you in praising God for His lavish blessings!
1 John Chapter 2
My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ the righteous one. He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the word you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Reasons for Writing
I am writing to you, little children,
since your sins have been forgiven
on account of his name.
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you have come to know
the one who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the evil one.
I have written to you, children,
because you have come to know the Father.
I have written to you, fathers,
because you have come to know
the one who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
because you are strong,
God’s word remains in you,
and you have conquered the evil one.
A Warning about the World
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions — is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
The Last Hour
Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. By this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.
Remaining with God
What you have heard from the beginning is to remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life.
I have written these things to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, his anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as it has taught you, remain in him.
So now, little children, remain in him so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know this as well: Everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
And so it begins. This is where John’s first letter becomes rubber meeting road. His tone might be a bit gentler than James’, but it is equally forthright.
We as Christians – or is it just human beings in general? – seek out the wiggle room, don’t we? If we show up at church on Sundays and attend Bible studies and talk a good story, we can usually side-step the weightier issues of our faith. You know, like actually doing what God says. But when we begin to read the Word systematically, like we’re doing together right now, John’s plain talk is hard to miss. If I say that I have come to know Him, and yet do not keep His commands, I am a liar and the truth is not in me. Ouch!
Let that sink in. We’ve spent 7 ½ months reading those commands, every day, in order, nothing taken out of context. How are we doing? Are we keeping His commands? Do we allow what He is telling us to resonate and sink in and spur us on to change?
Good Days and Bad Days
I’m willing to guess that we have our good days and bad days. Am I on target? And thank God, even by this, He is not surprised. We know He’s made provision for it because of what John wrote in the very first verse of this chapter. He’s writing so that we won’t sin. But if we do sin, and we will, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the righteous One. He is our atoning sacrifice. It’s already done.
Our Father in heaven does not condone hating our brothers and sisters in Christ. My pastor makes us smile when he periodically says that some people are just easier to love than others. And it’s so true! But what does that do for us? Drive us to pray for endurance and wisdom and God’s insights? To practice patience? To experience the humility of realizing someone just might be having an equally hard time loving us? Yes, all of the above brings us into closer communion with our heavenly father. I don’t want to walk in darkness, do you?
Finally, you might read the third chapter of Genesis, where the story of the first sin is told. You’ll recognize the language that John uses here, describing the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions. Our sin nature is constant. Thank God that He has provided for our salvation. Let’s pray.
Lord, thank You that You are the true light and have made a way for us to walk in it. Keep us from hate and darkness…draw us into Your light. Make us ever mindful that this world is not our home and that the fulfillment of Your law is love. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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